The job I lost
I was a personal trainer but a permanent injury put an end to that. I re-trained by getting a Master's in natural resource management/conservation. I foolishly took the advice to study something I was passionate about, but no one ever cautioned me about eventual job prospects! I graduated 18 months ago (with top grades) and have been unable to find permanent employment since.
What it's like being unemployed
It is complete and utter hell. The associated humiliation, desperation and pain that comes with being a 'pointless' member of society is hard to take. I used to be a bright, happy, confident and ambitious young woman but now I feel like a useless, bludging failure. I have been getting some temp work now and then such as packing fruit, data entry etc but when each assignment ends, I don't know where my next pay packet is coming from. I'm stuck in the no experience/no job catch 22 that so many graduates face. There are no menial jobs at places like McDonalds because unemployment is so high. There are often hundreds of applicants for a single vacancy and, with no directly relevant experience, it is almost impossible to be the pick of the crop no matter how well I stack up in other areas.
Possibly the worst part of being unemployed is dealing with society's optimism. There is a perception that being unemployed is a choice and that if I really wanted a job, I would go out there and get one! People who haven't tried to find work in a recession just don't understand what the problem is. I also get a lot of "you should have got experience while you were studying" or "why didn't you think about job prospects earlier"...because I was young and times were good when I started re-training. How was I meant to know that all the advice I was taking would turn out to be wrong? Then there are the 'problem solvers' who ask if you've tried/do you do this, that or the other thing. Yes. Yes I do. I've heard it all before.
I feel trapped and helpless. Every new path I take in order to find permanent work leads nowhere. After 18 months, it's very hard to remain positive.
- Improve other areas of your life such as family, health, hobbies etc
- Get up at the usual working time every day
- Keep the house immaculate and cook time-consuming meals
- Look/apply for jobs for AT LEAST 2 hours a day Mon-Fri
- Exercise daily, it kills time and helps both mental and physical health
- Always have something to look forward to: meal out, family visit, holiday etc
- Don't let your desperation and depression creep into applications or interviews
- Suppress the urge to punch optimists no matter how appealing the thought...